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Where can I develop my writing skills while still making money for college?

I'm fresh out of high school, and I've been writing short, fictional stories for 3+ years now. I've done a bit of research and it seems like all of the quick money is in copywriting, article writing, or editing. I feel like I'm quite skilled at fictional writing, but I have no idea where to start with professional, published article writing. My question is where I can find a way to make a quick buck while developing my writing skills? writing journalism author writer college copywriting editing creative-writing

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Subject: Career question for you

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9 answers

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John’s Answer

Arhe can I suggest becoming a professional web content writer. The benefits of being a professional web content writer includes being paid for an activity you enjoy (writing), and as you become more established, the ability to work remotely or from a home office.

Web content writers compose content specifically for online consumption. The digital media field is growing as new technologies drive users to the Web, but these types of content writers can face stiff competition for available positions. They are usually freelancers and may work for several clients. Most hold bachelor's degrees in journalism, English or communications, and they need to be familiar with writing for traditional publications as well as for the Web. Due to the digital nature of the work, Web content writers are often required to know basic design fundamentals and be familiar with digital content management systems. They are also expected to communicate effectively with clients, meet strict deadlines, follow editorial guidelines from different clients and, if they are freelance writers, manage their own time. Freelance Web content writers purchase their own computer and writing equipment to facilitate their digital work environment. A professional writer should be competent and skillful, and they should be engaged in writing as their main paid occupation. As a web content writer, you may write content on a variety of topics for a variety of organizations, from popular websites to scientific and technical print documents or manuals.

Although many writing techniques are unique to online content writing, a thorough knowledge of standard writing practices is necessary for Web content writers. Bachelor's degree programs in journalism, English and other mass communication disciplines can fulfill the educational requirements for Web content writers. These programs can focus on grammar, editorial writing, magazine writing, ethics, and can often include digital media course options. Specialized certificate programs in electronic writing and digital media production focus on Web content. Applicable master's degree programs contain advanced coursework on professional writing, electronic media, journalism and other tech-friendly writing disciplines.

The average Digital Content Writer III salary in the United States is $78,500 as of May 28, 2020, but the range typically falls between $72,000 and $86,500. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

Hope this was Helpful Arhe

John recommends the following next steps:

LOOK INTO INTERNSHIPS – While you are working your degree, start looking for internship opportunities at local publications in your area. Some publications may offer summer positions to gain experience in the field and a taste of the professional writing world. You may also want to consider doing an internship at a publication you hope to work for full time in the future to make connections with editors and other writers at the publication. Many of these internships will likely not be paid, at least not at first. Be prepared to receive compensation in the form of connections and contacts.
FIND A MENTOR – Talk to the professors in your program, the editors at publications you are interning at or are trying to write for, or other writers in a content writing organization or alliance. A mentor is someone who has extensive experience in the content writing industry and can impart valuable professional knowledge and career advice. There are also professional content writers who offer mentorship, for a fee. Often the best mentors are ones you can get the know personally and work with closely on a one on one basis. Before you sign up for a mentorship online, look for possible mentors in your workplace or your academic program.
JOIN PWA – The Professional Writers Alliance (PAW) is a member based organization that acts as a “virtual learning hall” for professional writers. They offer writing and career resources, tools, tutorials, and connections to other professional writers. There is a fee to join the PWA, but it is significantly lower than other writing associations and many successful copywriters and content writers are members of the PWA.

Thank you, John! I'll definitely check out the PWA. Arhe V.

Your Welcome Arhe. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover. – Mark Twain John Frick

I 100% agree with w everything john said. Many high tech companies (google amazon facebook Verizon Yahoo huffpost etc) have internships. They are a great first step Linda Schlosser

Thank You Iyana. “The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves.” — Helen Keller John Frick

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Margaret’s Answer

Writing is such a useful and versatile skill. You can go so many ways about getting a job as a writer. If your town has a local magazine, contact them and see if you can do an internship. Elaborate on your current writing skills and express how though this internship, you wish to develop them. The internet is also a wonderful resource on finding writing work. You can write a sample piece for a blog and see if they would want to hire you on for further blog posts. There are so many types of blogs on the internet that require all different styles of writing- including fantasy submissions. Overall, you have so many different paths you could go- keep your mind open to all opportunities and pick the one that makes you the most excited.

Or write your own blog! Linda Schlosser

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Gloria’s Answer

I would say that writing is a skill that needs to be used every day. You should journal as much as a possible for your own pleasure. There are websites like where writers come together to work with and learn from each other. Like anyone trying to get started in something, you should find mentors and build a network around your skill, in this case, writing. When you do research on authors or journalists of note, you find that they found support in a community at some point early in their careers. And those communities can offer you more insight on where to take your writing to earn a living. Another way is to start your own blog. You should also consider ways that you can use your writing skill that may be more journalistic rather than creative at first. Work to write articles for local publications. Consider volunteering your skills to a local non-profit agency. The people who read those articles may be looking for writers themselves.
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Emily’s Answer

If you will be attending a university, many universities have writing mentorship programs and jobs available to students. You can sign up as a writing tutor, or apply for a job at your universities writing center to help students improve their writing abilities! An example writing center job offering is from UCF, a college in Orlando, Florida:

"The UWC is currently recruiting first-year, sophomore, and junior undergraduate peer tutors for the Fall 2020 semester. Please see below for more information.

Who are peer tutors?
Peer tutors are high-achieving undergraduate students from a variety of majors and selected Graduate Teaching Assistants from Writing & Rhetoric, who are interested in the teaching and learning of writing. As a tutor, you will provide individual and small-group writing support to students, faculty, and staff from first-year to graduate in every discipline, while studying writing center research and theory. As you teach and learn in collaboration with others, you will develop your own writing abilities, interpersonal skills, and leadership potential.

Undergraduate peer tutors are paid $10.00-$11.00 per hour. Hours range from 3-20 per week. Initial and continued employment is contingent upon fulfilling the responsibilities and requirements below."

Most universities are guaranteed to have positions such as these! I'm not sure if it'll be quick cash, but long term it'd be a great option to earn some money and help others improve writing.
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Zeba’s Answer

You can try the following:

1 Part-time internships: They give you a lot of the real world experience, but do not demand the same amount of time investment.

2 Freelance writing: Look at job boards for freelance work that you can handle. Choose work that will not eat into your day, if you are already doing something else.

3 Blogging: This is a great free way to write a lot, and it is easy to do at your own pace. The other side to this is, if your blog carves out a niche or grabs attention, then there are plenty of ways to monetize it.

4 Content writing: Finding a job in content writing will literally make you write and pay you for it. Don't be afraid to start small, get your foot in the door, put some experience on your resume, and then go after bigger writing jobs. Once you're in, you're in.
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Richard’s Answer

I agree with the advise given on internships. Find a company or organization you're interested in and reach out to them. Find out if there may be a place for you in a content or marketing group. Sometimes HR departments seek interns to write. Other departments also may need someone to write and edit. Any writing experience will sharpen your skill set and even give you more ideas for your fiction writing.

I agree. Internships let you try different types of writing to see what fits best. Learning what you dont want to do is as important as knowing what you like to do. Linda Schlosser

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Simeon’s Answer

You can work on writing articles for journals and newspapers. I'd recommend building an online presence with a blog and building a readership. The bigger platform you have, the more you'll be able to prove your value as a writer to potential employers and publishers.
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Steve’s Answer

One option you might want to look into is a customer service or tech support job. This kind of job is plentiful, as just about any company that offers a product or service needs a support team. It's also usually considered an entry-level position, so it shouldn't require any specific job experience. This duties focus on answering customer questions about whatever your company's product or service is, and possibly some billing or troubleshooting help. This type of job is not something you usually need to take home with you, so it should also be possible to work this job while attending college classes.

If you can find a job like this that answers requests over email, this would allow you to work on your technical and professional writing skills, while getting paid. These businesses likely also have writing-focussed support staff needs as well, so there are often options for career advancement.

Not necessarily an exciting option, but it should be easy to get your foot in the door, and use your experience to move ahead. Good luck!
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Gina’s Answer

Local newspapers or online blogs are a great start. If you have the ability to write about a topic that interests you, I feel the creative juices flow much more easily. Also, local organizations may put our newsletters or other marketing materials that you can volunteer to create.